Public inquiries and investigations: handling witness evidence

“Witnesses called before a proposed public inquiry into the UK’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic will have to be treated professionally and sensitively if the inquiry is to be a success. In order to deliver reliability, witnesses must be treated sensitively and ‘forensically’ interviewed to ensure the integrity of the interview and the accuracy of the evidence; and to avoid re-traumatising them”.
The words of Julian Diaz-Rainey, partner at Pinsent Masons, the global law firm with whom we’ve had the pleasure to work with for several years now on behalf of Manchester City FCs investigation into the historic relationship of the convicted sex offender, Barry Bennell, with the football club.
Julian continues:

“Witness evidence relies on memory, which can be a fragile commodity if not handled with skill and specialist expertise. This is particularly true where a witness has been subjected to any kind of trauma.

Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, instructed Intersol Global, the world leaders in investigative interviewing, to provide training to lawyers to ensure that witnesses are interviewed ethically, sensitively and non-judgementally, in order to enhance its public inquiry and investigations expertise. A number of lawyers gained an Ofqual Level 3 investigative interviewing qualification following the training, making Pinsent Masons the first, and only, commercial law firm in the world to qualify staff to conduct forensic interviews”.

The link to the full article courtesy of Pinsent Masons can be found here

It is worthy of highlighting that it has been an absolute professional privilege to work with the team at Pinsents and MCFC on such a delicate investigation.

Our lasting thoughts must remain with those damaged for life by the repulsive conduct of a man who preyed on the vulnerabilities of others and abused the position of trust he was afforded. It was a humbling privilege to meet and interview every one of you.